Dungannon Swifts 20 Glenavon

Sports Direct Premiership

Stangmore Park

Saturday 20th April 2024

Match report by Calum Jones

Glenavon’s poor late-season form continued on Saturday as they were beaten 2-0 by play-off-chasing Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

The home side went ahead midway through the first half when Tomas Galvin cut inside David Toure before drilling a low shot in at the near post.

The Swifts sealed their victory in the 75th minute when half-time substitute Thomas Maguire pounced on a rebound to fire in from point-blank range.

In keeping with the pattern that a number of Glenavon’s games have followed in recent months, the Lurgan Blues enjoyed plenty of possession but struggled to fashion many clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.

Peter Campbell did almost create a scoring chance for himself as early as the fifth minute when he charged down goalkeeper Declan Dunne’s attempted clearance. Dunne reacted well to recover by toe-poking the ball behind for a corner before Campbell could shoot.

Len O’Sullivan came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock when his low shot struck the base of the post after the left-back had made his way into the Dungannon box with a strong run from the left flank on 16 minutes.

When the home side went in front in the 23rd minute, it was somewhat against the run of play. The impressive Leo Alves played a through-ball with his left foot to pick out the run of Galvin. The teenage striker cut inside Toure before finding the near bottom corner with a low shot to make it 1-0.

Glenavon tried to hit back five minutes later. James Doona did well on the left to get the ball to Peter Campbell in the penalty area. The ball ended up at an awkward height for the forward, though, and in the end, he could only drag his shot wide of the far post.

Doona was involved again in the 34th minute when his shot from outside the box took a deflection. That took all the pace off the shot, leaving Dunne to make an easy save.

Three minutes after the restart, Matthew Snoddy made an error when trying to make a clearance. This allowed Joe Moore a sight at goal.

The substitute couldn’t hit the target, however.

At the other end, James Doona drilled a dangerous low cross along the six-yard box in the 50th minute. No teammate could get a touch, and the ball eventually went behind for a corner. Glenavon captain Niall Quinn swung over the set piece and picked out Campbell at the back post. Campbell sent his volley over the bar when he should have made the net bulge.

Glenavon’s efforts to find an equaliser continued to prove fruitless, and the home side doubled their lead in the 75thminute. Moore crossed from the right and fellow substitute Rhyss Campbell launched himself at the ball, which ended up coming back off the post. It was another Swifts sub who reacted quickest, as Maguire scored from a yard or two out to seal the win which keeps Rodney McAree’s team in with a chance of grabbing seventh place ahead of Carrick Rangers.

If Dungannon are to get that seventh place, they will need a favour from Glenavon. The Lurgan Blues’ bring their season to a close next Saturday (27th April) when they host Carrick at Mourneview Park. With a 10th-placed finish already confirmed for Glenavon, Stephen McDonnell’s men have little to play for other than pride. Rangers, on the other hand, will visit Lurgan knowing that a draw would secure them seventh spot and a place in the European play-offs. Note the later kick-off time of 5:30pm.

Dungannon Swifts: 1. Declan Dunne (GK), 4. Dean Curry(C), 8. James Knowles, 10. Kealan Dillon, 12. Steven Scott,14. Adam Glenny, 17. Cahal McGinty, 23. Ladislau Leonel Ucha Alves, 26. Andrew Mitchell, 34. Gael Bigirimana, 50. Gael Bigirimana

Subs: 19. Thomas Maguire (for 26. Andrew Mitchell, 46’), 16. Joseph Moore (for 10. Kealan Dillon, 46’), 11. RhyssCampbell (for 50. Tomas Galvin, 65’), 44. Andrew Barrowman (for 23. Ladislau Leonel Ucha Alves, 85’), 3. John Scott (for 14. Adam Glenny, 90+2’), 20. Matthew Lusty (for 8. James Knowles, 90+2’); not used: 32. Alex Henderson(GK)

Goals: 50. Tomas Galvin (23’), 19. Thomas Maguire (75’)

Yellow cards: 1. Declan Dunne (36’)

Glenavon: 13. Mark Byrne (GK), 5. David Toure, 7. Matthew Snoddy, 10. Peter Campbell, 11. Niall Quinn (C), 20. Stephen Teggart, 23. Daniel Wallace, 24. Jamie Doran, 30. Sean Ward, 32. Len O’Sullivan, 39. James Doona

Subs: 28. Robert Garrett (for 32. Len O’Sullivan, 24’), 21. Aaron Prendergast (for 39. James Doona, 59’), 36. Troy Savage (for 10. Peter Campbell, 80’); not used: 41. Joshua Gracey (GK), 2. Conor Kerr, 17. Conor McCloskey, 25. Darren Clarke

Goals: N/A

Yellow cards:

Referee: Declan Hassan